Financial Security For The Royal New Zealand Ballet

  • Simon Upton
Cultural Affairs

New Zealanders will continue to have access to top quality ballet, Cultural Affairs Minister, Hon Simon Upton, said today.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet will receive $3.251 million in the 1998/9 year and $3.195 million annually thereafter in a funding package that increases both its funding and arts spending in general.

New funding of $1.125 million has been allocated in the Budget to ensure the Ballet retains its position and maintains its high standards of performance into the future. The remainder of the funding largely comes from a transfer of the annual grant previously made by Creative New Zealand.

"In the past, the Ballet has had to bid for funds made available through Creative New Zealand, largely from the proceeds of gambling. From here on in it will receive funding directly from Government in recognition of its importance to the arts and the fact that it has, over 45 years, become a permanent feature of the New Zealand cultural landscape.

"The Ballet has a long history as one of New Zealand's most prestigious performing arts companies and the success of its recent nation-wide tour demonstrates the continuing affection New Zealanders have for the company", Mr Upton said.

Mr Upton paid tribute to Creative New Zealand for its support of the Royal New Zealand Ballet over many years. "The ballet would not be in existence today without the substantial funding provided by Creative New Zealand and I am most grateful for its support", he said.

"Recent financial difficulties have dogged that Ballet, so the Government is pleased that this package secures a fully professional company of 32 full time dancers, presenting high quality ballet to New Zealand audiences.

"The Royal New Zealand Ballet is now financially stable which means it can operate on a sustainable basis and confidently plan for the future. I wish the Board and dancers well and look forward to the forthcoming season of Sleeping Beauty which promises to be one of the artistic highlights of 1998", Mr Upton concluded.